Well, Big Thinkers, it’s time once again to round-up the top posts from the past year as selected by you and your fellow readers here on the blog. And, just like last year, a number of key insights emerged from what you read, shared, liked, and linked to over the past 12 months. The core trends, in no particular order:
- Driving direct business. Obviously, many hotel marketers continue to worry about OTA’s such as Priceline and Expedia, but the emergence of alternative accommodations providers like Airbnb have seem to have really increased the importance of connecting directly with guests.
- Mobile. One of the key ways you need to connect with guests? Mobile. No longer a future trend (as I pointed out not long ago), mobile’s time is now.
- Millennials. And, of course, one of the key drivers of growth in mobile and in travel business overall is the rise of Millennials as a legitimate contributor to both leisure and business travel.
- Data. Finally, putting all these pieces together increasingly requires a robust customer data strategy and effective execution to make it work. While this wasn’t as prominent throughout 2015, expect to see lots of action in this area this year.
With all that said, take a few moments to review these 16 key insights, the top travel marketing posts of 2015. You’ll be glad you did. And stay tuned for even more good things as we go forward in 2016. Enjoy!
- Leading off this year’s list, we’ve got these “5 Key Facts About Mobile, Millennials, and Hotel Marketing.” Really important metrics there. Don’t miss ’em.
- Another huge past this past year asked “How Safe Are Independent Hotels from Airbnb?” The answer really depends on you, of course, so be sure to see how you can defend your hotel from the coming competitive pressures in your market.
- It seemed liked everyone wanted to learn more about “The Big Myth About Digital Strategy.” Check it out to see why.
- My annual “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” presentation always proves popular. I’m actually presenting this talk again (updated with some new material) to the Washington, DC HSMAI chapter in a couple of weeks. Keep checking the event page for updated details if you’d like to attend.
- One of my personal favorite posts from the past year is this “Huge List of Lessons Learned at HSMAI’s Digital Marketing Strategy Conference.” It seems like I gain a great set of takeaways every year—and you can look forward to insights from this year’s show next month.
- This next post, “Are Hotel Brands Doomed?” preceded and stands as a companion piece to the look at independent hotels and Airbnb up there in the #2 position. If you work for a management company or asset management firm, you might want to review both.
- Our Hospitality Marketing Link Digest series always attracts lots of attention from your fellow Big Thinkers. And this entry, containing “4 Key Posts About 2015 Travel Marketing Trends” was no exception.
- These “Trends in Hospitality Digital Marketing for 2016” captured your fellow readers’ fancy last October.
- Another personal favorite of mine—and many of your fellow Big Thinkers, given how frequently they shared it—was this look at “Why Mobile Matters for Hotel Marketing.”
- One of the most important posts of last year was this report “Priceline CEO Darren Huston Explains Why Driving Brand Value Matters.” Priceline, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Google, and Airbnb are killing it right now. Any time they provide you an opportunity to learn about what they’re up to is an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. Check out the whole post to see why.
- This collection of “6 Key Hotel E-commerce Tips: A Cheat Sheet to Drive Direct Business” rocketed up the list last year… and for good reason. Take a look for yourself and learn why.
- I was interviewed by a trade magazine for “5 Hotel Marketing Trends for 2015: Tim Peter in Hotel News Now” and thought you might appreciate hearing what we talked about. Looks like you and your fellow readers wanted to hear all about it.
- Another Hospitality Marketing Link Digest makes this year’s list, with this one a round-up of “5 Hospitality Marketing Trends You’ll Want to Keep in Mind.”
- Although this next post was published early in the year, these “3 Keys to Compete with OTA’s in 2015 and Beyond” still hold true in 2016.
- While we’re on the topic of OTA’s, you may still want to review this look at “What the Expedia-Orbitz Deal Means for Your Hotel.”
- Finally—and amazingly—this next post was only published a few weeks ago. Yet, it managed to race up the charts and make it into this year-end recap all the same, by asking the crucial question, “Is Social a Waste of Time for Hotel Marketers?” The short answer is “no.” But be sure to read the whole post to understand why.
If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing guest behavior shapes hospitality marketing, e-commerce, and distribution, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.
You might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2016: The Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:
Finally, you will definitely want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:
- 10 Key Posts about Millennials and Mobile: E-commerce Link Digest
- The Secrets Behind “It’s All E-commerce” for 2014
- Should Marketers Really Trust Google in 2014?
- The Zen of Digital Marketing Strategy
- 7 Steps to E-Commerce Heaven
- Today and Tomorrow: Mobile and The Changing Customer Journey
- Mobile Makes E-commerce Even More “Frictionless”
- Your 2014 Internet Marketing New Year’s Resolutions – Thinks Out Loud Episode 56
Key Revenue Levers Driving Profitability (Presentation)